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Ohio Divorce Laws

Just as there are legal requirements for getting married (such as consent, age, etc.), states also regulate the divorce process. In Ohio, the divorce laws include the possibility of a court-ordered conciliation period for as much as 90 days, while the plaintiff -- the person filing for divorce -- must have been a state resident for at least six months.

This article provides a brief overview of divorce laws in Ohio.

No-Fault Divorce in Ohio

Ohio law allows no-fault divorce (at most, requiring the spouses to remain physically separated for one year), but calls the legal process a dissolution. The Ohio Supreme Court provides downloads of forms for Ohio Dissolution without Children and Ohio Dissolution with Children.

For a divorce, which requires fault in Ohio, the state code lists the following grounds:

  • Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought
  • Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Fraudulent contract
  • Any gross neglect of duty
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint

If seeking a divorce on one or more of the above grounds and want to download forms, follow the links for Divorce without Children or Divorce with Children. Some uncontested divorces without children may be reconciled without an attorney, but more often parties to a divorce are better off hiring a lawyer, particularly if the other party is represented.

Divorce Laws in Ohio: At a Glance

Learn more about Ohio's divorce laws in the table below. See FindLaw's extensive Divorce section for more articles and resources.

Code Section

§ 3105 et seq. of the Ohio Revised Code

Residency Requirements

Plaintiff must have been a resident for six months

Waiting Period

The decree is immediately final, but the court may order a conciliation period of up to 90 days

'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Separation (1 yr.); incompatibility (unless denied by other party)

Defenses to a Divorce Filing


Other Grounds for Divorce

Adultery; cruelty or violence; desertion; alcohol addiction; imprisonment; prior marriage undissolved; fraudulent contract; another party procures a divorce out of state; gross neglect of duty

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage the new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Ohio Legal Requirements for Divorce: Related Resources

Getting Divorced in Ohio? An Attorney Can Help

Deciding to take steps to dissolve your marriage is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make. This is particularly true if you have children together. You don't have to go through this process by yourself. There are skilled divorce lawyers available to help you understand Ohio's divorce laws and how they will impact you.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Divorces are tough and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Divorce lawyers can secure alimony, visitation rights, and property division

Get tailored divorce advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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